The Sheik of Araby (also known as Sheik or Araby) is a song that was written in 1921 by Harry b. Smith and Francis Wheeler and set to music by Ted Snyder. The song was inspired by the film The Sheik from the same year, with the popular actor Rudolph Valentino. Snyder used parts of the melody In 1926 for a new song, That Night in Araby, which was supposed to ride with the film The Son of the Sheik of that year, again with Valentino. Billy Rose wrote the text.
' Araby ' in the title is of course the Arab peninsula. But 5 miles from New Orleans is a town of Arabi, that until the 1950s known for its gambling houses.The popularity of the song among the musicians of New Orleans would hang together.
- Supposedly the first recording of Clyde Doerr's Club Royal Orchestra on 2 november 1921 on the brand Victor.
- In 1923 took the melody on a version in which Guido Gialdini whistled became, for the brand Vox. 
- Duke Ellington recorded the song in 1932 with his Orchestra.
- The Tiny Bradshaw Big Band made a recording in 1934.
- Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli names the number both in 1935 as in 1937 at with the Quintette du Hot Club de France.
- In november 1936, Don Albert's band the number on, under addition of an obscene comment to the text.
- Fats Waller and his Rhythm in 1939 also put a version on the plate.
- The plates brand Victor in 1941 an experiment with overdubs from. Sidney Bechet played The Sheik of Araby on clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, double bass anddrums and Victor made it number one.
- Spike Jones and his City Slickers in 1942 made a series of short movies with sound, soundies, which could be viewed in a ' movie-coin jukebox ' of a coin. One of those movies was The Sheik of Araby.
- The Sheik of Araby is one of the four numbers on the 78-rpm record I Got Rhythm by Oscar Peterson from 1945 (RCA Masters FXM1 7233).
- George Lewis and His New Orleans Music brought the number in 1950 as back of the 78-rpm record Willie The Weeper. 
- Louis Prima recorded the song in 1957 for the lp The Call of the Wildest (Capitol Records T836).
- Fats Domino put the song on his lp A Lot of Dominos! from 1960 (Imperial Records LP 12066).
The Beatles had in their start time the number on their repertoire and brought the regular live in both Liverpool and Hamburg. According to George Harrison, who always sang, had an earlier version of the singer Joe Brown (a personal friend of his) served as a model. The Beatles sang the song during their failed audition at Decca on 1 January 1962. The occupation was:
- George Harrison, vocals and sologuitar
- John Lennon, backing vocals and rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney, backing vocals and bass guitar
- Pete Best, drums
- Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra recorded the song for the soundtrack of the movie The Great Gatsby from 1974.
- Ray Stevens in 1991 took a parody of the song for his album Number One With a Bullet. It's called Sheik or R & B here and tells of a Sheik who is rhythm-and-blues singer .
- Jimmy Rosenberg recorded the song for the album Gypsy Swing by 2000.
- Harry Connick jr. put a big band with a version on his album Oh, My NOLA by 2007.
- Tim Armstrong recorded the song for his project in June 2013 on Tim Timebomb and Friends.